Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4.2 million grant to West Calcasieu Port in Sulphur, Louisiana, to make the facility and regional economy more resilient to natural disasters. The grant, to be matched with $1.1 million in local investment, is expected to help create 400 jobs.
“The Trump Administration is working hard to fulfill its commitment to rebuild communities devastated by natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These improvements will boost the Port’s capacity to serve the critical maritime transportation needs in the region and to boost job growth in the local community.”
“Ports are an essential element of our economy and support one of every five jobs in our state,” said Governor Edwards. “For every dollar invested in port infrastructure, we see a return of eight dollars in taxes, jobs and benefits for Louisiana. That’s why our administration doubled capital spending in our Port Priority Program through DOTD. We’re grateful that the U.S. Commerce Department agrees and has prioritized these improvements at the West Calcasieu Port to strengthen its infrastructure and build capacity for more growth.”
“Louisiana’s ports are key to a prosperous economy,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Hurricanes place these ports at risk. Increasing resiliency is important for preserving prosperity. Thanks to President Trump and Secretary Ross for awarding this grant.”
“The West Calcasieu Port Facility plays an important role in the commercial activity along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, including barge fleeting and marine construction,” said Senator Kennedy. This EDA grant is an important investment in Louisiana’s economy that will help create more jobs in a growing industry.”
“The West Calcasieu Port is an important asset for maritime commerce and industrial activity in Southwest Louisiana,” said Congressman Higgins. “This investment will allow for expanded service capacity at the Port and greater economic prosperity for the surrounding communities. With significant industrial growth ongoing in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes, local infrastructure improvements are a top priority.”
The project includes construction of a bulkhead and crane pad for loading and unloading barges at West Calcasieu Port. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning and Development Commission (IMCAL). EDA funds IMCAL to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.
This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires, and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.